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Training in the
by Bob Butler
I have read quite a lot recently about
training in the ‘Video’ industry. Whilst
it is true that as a hire company we at
Broadcast Services are often surprised at the
lack of knowledge about equipment, we can
understand it to a point, due to the ever changing digital
world. Not so long ago there were only a couple of camera
formats, Digi Beta and SP, and then the disc cameras
which were very like Digi Beta’s. At that time the
cameramen (and women) all were well trained, often ex
BBC, and understood not only cameras but everything that
went with them.
We then had the digital revolution and everything changed.
Lots of different cameras and operating systems and at the
same time lots of new younger operators. They understood
the ‘digital’ world having been bought up with computers
but sometimes not so well versed in everything else.
They have maybe attended a college or university course in
media but that does not seem to have covered equipment
operation. As I said there are now so many different
cameras out there, Sony seem to launch a new one
every two months, that it is understandable, to an extent.
However we are surprised that so often people do not
understand the basics.
As a hire company we try to be helpful and explain any bits
people may not understand, however this can be diffi cult
when they start by asking “What is HDSDI?” or in a recent
case “I’m not getting a picture out of my vision mixer” Does
your camera have HDSDI out we asked “Yes it does” Has
the mixer got HDSDI in? “Well it’s marked Y -pR –pB which
one should I use?
Or someone who did not want to pay for the tripod as
it was ‘very fl oppy’ They thought that the bowl clamp
was what you used for pan & tilt! Now they are extreme
examples but do illustrate the lack of knowledge out there.
I was very lucky in working with people who took the
trouble to teach me things, although they expected me to
ask questions. On one occasion I asked if I might shoot
some stuff on a 16mm ARRI as a second camera, as we
had it with us. Later I was told that they had only bought
the camera along to see if I would ask to use it!
We have had work experience people in for a few days,
who if you don’t ask them to do something will happily sit
and read a magazine or play on their iPhone. (I’m now
sounding like a grumpy old man, but you get my point)
Of course corporate fi lm units are a thing of the past,
so where can people get training? Well there are some
medium to large production companies who do on the job’
training’ and some of the hire companies ,Visual Impact
and Promotion for example, offer training days. What is the
answer? Well you could encourage colleges to offer better/
different training but with already too many media courses,
that may not be practical. Or ask the industry to work with
colleges to offer courses; which is what Graham Reed
(cameraman extraordinaire) is doing with ITTP (Institute of
Training in Television Production) professionals handing their
skills on, maybe that is the way forward, it is certainly an
I don’t think there is a ‘one answer fi ts all’ but for sure
something does need to be done or a lot of skills will be
There will be a second meeting of minds on 27th January
at Pinewood where industry will meet with educational
leaders at the ITTP Conference so if you are interested in
the future then take a look and maybe pop along.
www.ittp.org.uk Broadcast Services Overview
Broadcast Services provide video equipment for hire to
the TV and audio visual industry. We have lots of cameras
,all types of Vision Mixers, Including Tricasters and all the
accessories that you’re ever likely to need, for whatever
scale of production you’re involved with. In short we’re big
enough to cover all the bases, and small enough to do it
with a smile.
Whatchamacallit? We’ve got hundreds of whatchamacallits, and more
importantly we have experienced video technicians who
know exactly which whatchamacallit you’ll need. They’ll help
you get going with cameras in any format from DVCAM to
XDCAM (we even have historic formats such as 1”, D2 and
D3). Plus they’ll make sure you get all the cables, monitors,
microphones, and other watchamacallits you’ll need to keep
your production hitch-free and happy.
Register now for the ITTP Conference
Tuesday 27th January 2015
at Pinewood Studios
www.ittp.org.uk 46 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 95 NOVEMBER 2014